Floyd Mayweather was dismissive of Oscar De La Hoya’s Playboy missive to him in an MLive interview last weekend, saying his old rival’s open letter to him is rife with jealousy and De La Hoya’s own inattentiveness as a promoter while battling substance abuse.
De La Hoya’s open letter to Mayweather criticized the latter for being boring, choosing primarily disadvantaged opponents, and refusing to take risks.
De La Hoya, who lost to Mayweather in a 2007 torch-passing bout, wrote that “the fight game will be a better one without you in it.”
Mayweather noted that in criticizing his competition, De La Hoya was criticizing eight years of his own carefully crafted Golden Boy Promotions stable.
Mayweather tore through the heart of Golden Boy’s roster while fighting 10 times under the company’s banner from 2007-14.
“I mean, this is the same guy, I’m so boring, but he fed all his fighters to me,” Mayweather said. “So it’s obvious he did it because it was all about the money for him.”
Mayweather severed ties with Golden Boy Promotions after a corporate shakeup led to the departure of company CEO Richard Schaefer. The Mayweather camp always insisted on dealing with Schaefer and openly was distrustful of De La Hoya.
Mayweather fought under his own Mayweather Promotions banner when he defeated Manny Pacquiao on May 2, cutting De La Hoya out of the richest fight in history.
De La Hoya’s open letter polarized boxing fans about the long-running feud, whether bitterness drove the critique, and how Mayweather’s career should be remembered.
It also comes as Golden Boy Promotions presents a major promotion this weekend, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto, a matchup of historic greats who lost to Mayweather in 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Mayweather said he believes De La Hoya has one other motivation in lambasting his career two months after he announced his retirement with a 49-0 record.
“I think he’s jealous — jealous,” Mayweather said of De La Hoya. “The thing is this, I mean, you see Richard Schaefer is gone. Richard Schaefer built Golden Boy. Honestly, who wants to do business with Oscar De La Hoya? I really care about a fighter’s well-being. I’m just saying if Miguel Cotto was my fighter, if Canelo was my fighter, they’d be a lot bigger than they are now.”
Mayweather took particular offense at De La Hoya saying Alvarez was too young, at age 23, when they fought two years ago at a 152-pound contract catch weight, two pounds lighter than the class limit for the super welterweight titles at stake.
Alvarez’s promoter was De La Hoya, then as now.
“From what I hear, he said Canelo was too young,” Mayweather said. “Well, that shows you how he does bad business by putting a kid that’s too young in there. Genaro, may he rest in peace, Genaro Hernandez (Mayweather’s first championship opponent in 1998) wasn’t too old for me (Mayweather was 21, Hernandez 32). You want the big reward, you’ve got to take risk. That’s what we do.”
De La Hoya wrote specifically about the Pacquiao fight that, “You promised action and entertainment and a battle for the ages, and you delivered none of the above. The problem is, that’s precisely how you want it. You should have fought Pacquiao five years ago, not five months ago. That, however, would have been too dangerous. Too risky. You’ve made a career out of being cautious. You won’t get in the ring unless you have an edge. Sure, you fought some big names. But they were past their prime. Hell, even when we fought in 2007 —- and I barely lost a split decision — I was at the tail end of my career. Then later you took on Mexican megastar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, but he was too young and had to drop too much weight.”
Mayweather said if De La Hoya considered Alvarez disadvantaged, he should have protected his fighter.
De La Hoya entered a rehabilitation facility the week of Mayweather-Alvarez and was not in Las Vegas for any fight-week activities, nor the bout itself.
“I’m just saying how can Oscar even speak on something when he didn’t even show up? He didn’t show up at the Canelo fight,” Mayweather said. “What are we talking about? Drugs, lies and adultery. And dressing in drag. Me, as a fighter, I’m just saying, if I was a young fighter coming up, a guy that’s lying, a guy that’s on drugs, a guy that we don’t know if he’s going to show up, he’s not 100 percent, I’ve only got to say one thing — he couldn’t be my promoter. If I was a young fighter coming up, I would not want Oscar De La Hoya as my promoter. Me, as a fighter, I couldn’t trust him.”
Mayweather announced his retirement after his Sept. 12 win over Andre Berto, of which De La Hoya wrote, “How to describe it? A bust? A disaster? A snooze fest?”
De La Hoya wrote that Mayweather’s legacy would be as a money-maker.
“As for your fights? We’ve already forgotten them,” he wrote.
Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions are potential long-term rivals and Mayweather said De La Hoya needs this weekend’s fight to go the right way for his company.
“At the end of the day, he’s just hoping Canelo wins, because Cotto is no easy task, I’ve been in there with Cotto,” Mayweather said.
He was as happy to defend his body of work as De La Hoya was to shred it.
“We can reflect and talk about my accomplishments,” Mayweather said. “I beat Diego (Corrales) when he was at the top. I beat Arturo Gatti when he was at the top. When I fought Oscar De La Hoya, we both was in our thirties. When I fought Shane Mosley, we both was in our thirties, and I beat Shane Mosley when he was coming off his biggest victory. When they said (Juan Manuel) Marquez was washed up, after me, Marquez went and beat Pacquiao.”
As for being boxing’s premier money-maker, Mayweather noted that De La Hoya never had a problem exploiting him for business reasons, even since he left Golden Boy.
“He owns The Ring magazine, which constantly puts me on the cover,” Mayweather said.